Maverick Carter, the longtime manager and business partner of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, was recently revealed to have been betting on NBA games in the past. While Carter is of no legal obligation not to gamble, it’s a story that immediately reflects back onto James given his stature within league circles.
Gambling has become arguably one of the most prominent parts of sports in general. Whether it’s fantasy sports and individual bets on results, statistics and other random props, its prevalence on the sports world is greater than ever. And this leads to stories like this, when the manager and business partner of the most prominent athlete in basketball gambles on games.
James, who only recently learned that Carter gambled on games, gave his thoughts on the revelation and what it means to him, according to Iliana Limón Romero and Dan Woike of The L.A. Times:
“Maverick’s his own man and at the end of the day, gambling is legal,” James said. “I mean, you can go on your phone right now and do whatever you want. And he has no affiliation with the NBA or NFL, so, he can do what he wants to do.”
James then used the moment to talk about a greater trend he’s seeing when it comes to gambling in sports.
“I mean, it’s weird that some of our regular fans that love the game kind of only care about a parlay now,” he said. “I guess that’s the word everybody is using. It’s kind of taken some of the integrity out of the game because people are kind of really only caring about the betting. I mean, it’s always [happened]. I mean, listen, people have been betting on games since Arnold Rothstein set the bet in the 1920s on the World Series. Come on, come on. So, it’s been going on for years. But it’s legalized now. Is it legalized in every state now? The majority, right? I think it’s in 38-plus states. So, I mean, to each his own.”
Gambling is certainly not going away any time soon in the sports world, even if James appears to be opposed to its role in the game. However, as it becomes more prevalent, leagues will have to find a way to keep it from affecting the integrity of the game.
James: Lakers need to get healthy to know what they are
On the court, James is still in the early stages of evaluating the 2023-24 Lakers, and is having a difficult time doing so as the team is yet to be at full strength this season. He believes L.A. won’t have a concise identity until they are fully healthy.
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